Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Overnight bus trips. . .

. . .do absolutely nothing for your neck and back. I speak from firsthand experience.

My last day in Chiang Mai was fairly uneventful. On Monday night, Zach and I went out for a beer and a few rounds of cards and were glad that we were safely undercover when a huge thunderstorm hit. I can't remember the last time I'd seen it rain that hard, but it was probably when I was still in the States. The timing of the storm was pretty perfect, actually. I'd just complained to Zach that it was more humid that night compared to previous nights and within minutes the storm came through and cooled everything down.

I slept in on Tuesday morning and when I woke up it was still gray and overcast. I had a late, leisurely breakfast with a new book and then got some internet time in. I tried to get a massage (for the second time) at the Chiang Mai women's prison and (for the second time) they were booked. (Massage training is part of the prison's rehabilitation program. Women get training and any money they earn while they are incarcerated goes into an account for them which they then receive once they are released. The program is supposed to allow them to more successfully reenter society. It seemed like my money would be going to a good cause, but unfortunately I guess it just wasn't meant to happen for me there.) I could've gone to any number of other massage places in town, but by that time it was getting late and there was a YOGA CLASS that I didn't want to miss. I figured I'd have plenty more chances to get a massage, but this may be my one and only shot at yoga; after the fiasco that was trying to find a drop-in class in India, I didn't want to risk missing this one. It was a good move - the class was really good and the instructor was a hottie. :-)

After yoga I chilled out for a bit before heading to the bus station for my 9pm bus to Mae Hong Son (MHS). It was an air-con bus - usually not my first choice because the temp on the bus ranges from freezing to my-fingertips-are-turning-blue - and I got lucky and didn't have a seatmate for the entire eight hour trip. This means I got to spread out a little, but it still wasn't exactly the most comfortable journey ever. The biggest reason for this is that the road from Chiang Mai to MHS is very curvy, consisting of 700+ (mostly) sharp curves. In fact, I know two motorcyclists who would have an absolute blast driving this road! So the curves would be fun on a bike, but when your neck is jammed suddenly into an uncomfortable angle, well, like I said, it's no good for you at all.

My bus was actually on time, a phenomenon that always seems to happen when I'd prefer it to be late. You see, I arrived in MHS at 5am this morning. 5am is early anywhere, but in a small town of 6,000 or so, nothing was open for hours. I wandered around and eventually found a place where I could get coffee and an early breakfast. Initially I was going to have the rice soup with pork and egg, but the soup looked kind of gelatinous, so I asked for banana pancakes instead. Too bad for me as they don't offer pancakes anymore. Back to the soup, then, which turned out to be pretty good, but I didn't eat the egg. I think an egg was cracked and dropped raw into the steaming soup which cooked it a bit, I'm sure, but I didn't feel like it was cooked enough and I didn't want to risk it. More wandering around and it was finally late enough to check in to a guesthouse. I'm at Friend House where for 200B I get a huge bed, a fan, and a shared, hot water bathroom.

I'll spend today checking out all the area wats and then tomorrow. . .well, I know what I'll be doing, but I'm going to keep you in suspense. :-) And if you're Dad or ToadMama, don't ruin the surprise since you already know!


  1. Hey! I'm your sister that's NOT fair! I wanna know. Am I gonna get to talk with you again before you leave Thailand? And I didn't hear any mention of Zach - did you guys part ways?

  2. HaHa! I am sure it is driving Amy crazy that she does not know. Can't wait to find out what tomorrow brings!

  3. And I am certainly not going to ruin the surprise. (-:

  4. why do they get to know first? fine . . . xoxol

  5. Laura and Amy - I happened to talk to Dad and Kathy when I arrived at MHS. *That's* why they know, not because I was trying to keep secrets, lol.

    Amy - Yes, Zach and I parted ways. He's still in Chiang Mai and will be heading back to BKK on Friday to meet up with his girlfriend and another friend before he goes back to Korea on Sunday.